With an 8-game suspension in the bag, Antonio Brown now has a clear path back to the NFL. After a tumultuous 2019 that saw him sign with the Raiders, but not take a snap, sign with the Patriots and put up 4 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in one game before being released.
Off the field issues were the real problem for Brown last season. A horrendously over-blown ego saw him implode on Hard Knocks, and then there were allegations of historic rape, followed by an assault in a bizarre course of events that threatened to derail his career. And let’s not forget that Antonio Brown, one of the greatest receivers of our time, has also retired, TWICE, since the start of last season.
Through all of this, Antonio Brown remains one of the most explosive, talented, and hard-working receivers in the game. After all that went down in LA, the Patriots still wanted to take a shot at him. And having played with him for only 1 week, Tom Brady still wanted to take him to Tampa Bay.
Antonio Brown’s 2020 options
So with all that talent, and the matters mostly behind him, except the rape case which is NOT a criminal case at this point, the chances for Antonio Brown to play in the NFL in 2020 just got a whole lot better. So where do we think he is most likely to land?
3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady has already tried to get the Bucs to sign Brown before the legal issues were settled, and the suspension was in. With Brown in treatment, and seemingly making all the right moves for a return to the game Brady must be at the forefront of another Bucs push.
However, the Buccaneers have just $848,345 in salary cap per spotrac, and while cap gymnastics would likely see them create the space to sign the mercurial Brown, the questions about his long term impact on the team would make too much upheaval counterproductive.
But can you imagine a WR corps of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and Antonio Brown? That would be an insane set of weapons.
2: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are a team that is built to win, but they lack in one specific area and that’s their receivers. With Marquis Goodwin opting out of the 2020 season owing to COVID-19, the Eagles aging receivers will need some help. With a core three of Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and rookie Jalen Reagor, the Eagles could definitely use some help.
With Carson Wentz slinging the rock, adding Brown would elevate the Eagles offense for the second half playoff run they are hoping to make. Ranking 11th in the league last year on pass offense, the addition of Antonio Brown would give them a genuine number one threat.
Plus they have $22 million in cap space. More than enough to entice Brown to return to the NFL.
1: Seattle Seahawks
After taking a shot on Josh Gordon last season, the Seahawks culture is one of those in the NFL that seems most adept at taking on the potential issues that Brown could bring. A run-first team like the Seahawks can always use an explosive WR threat to loosen up the defense and Antonio Brown could be just the guy to do that.
Will $13.7 million in cap space the Seahawks can easily make it happen, and with the recent addition of Jamal Adams on defense, a weapon like Brown could elevate them back to Super Bowl contention. While the Seahawks already have Tyler Lockett, David Moore, and second-year player DK Metcalf, the potential upgrade by adding Brown would be massive.
The one thing we can be sure of is that someone will take a shot on Antonio Brown in 2020. His level of talent is a rare thing in the NFL and that playoff run will be much easier for whoever adds him for the final 8 games of 2020.